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How to clean your mattress effectively

Studies show that people spend one-thirds of their lives in bed1, but mattresses tend to be overlooked when it comes to house cleaning checklists.

Mattresses contain particulate matter like dust, dead skin cells, hair, pet dander and debris. To effectively remove these pollutants and the dust mites that feed off them, regular cleaning is needed.

To improve the health quality of your sleep, Dyson walks through how to deep clean a mattress properly. Tips and tricks including how often to clean your mattress are ahead.

30 June 2022

Why should you clean your mattress

Despite being a highly used area of the home, the Dyson Global Dust Study2 revealed that just over 3 in 4 people (76%) do not vacuum their mattresses regularly. A typical mattress can contain around 100,000 to 10 million dust mites, and a single dust mite produces about 20 waste droppings a day3. Dust mites faeces are a common allergy trigger - and frequent exposure can impact your wellbeing.

Gem McLuckie, Lead Research Scientist in Microbiology at Dyson explains, “dust mites themselves are not dangerous, the harmful allergen they create comes from the proteins present in their faecal pellets and body fragments. That can have a considerable wellbeing impact for those living in homes where dust mite colonies are present.”

Because of this, knowing how to clean your mattress and remove dust mites effectively is an important aspect of home health.

  • Watch our video to learn more about what's in your mattress

  • A typical mattress may have around 100,000 to 10 million dust mites

How to clean a mattress

Joanne Kang, Lead Research Scientist at Dyson states, “dead skin cells shed by humans and pets are the main source of food for dust mites. It is therefore not surprising that mattresses, where we spend the most time and where dander tends to accumulate, is a prime breeding ground for dust mites.”

See how Dyson's vacuum technology removes tiny particles like dead skin cells and the best cleaning approach below:

Step #1: Have tools handy

Furniture made from soft materials such as mattresses require specialised cleaning tools. To effectively lift and remove dust, debris and skin cells from softer furnishings, gather the following accessories beforehand:

  • Dyson's cordless vacuums change to handheld for areas like mattresses.
  • Dyson mattress and upholstery accessory
  • Dsyon hair screw tool

  • Step #2: Vacuum both sides of the mattress

    Dust mites can find their way to your mattress by clinging onto your clothes, via airborne dust or even from your pet. We shed most skin at night thanks to the friction from bedding materials2. The human body also emits humidity which dust mites thrive in, making mattresses an ideal breeding ground for them.

    For how to deep clean a mattress the right way, thoroughness is key. Go over both sides of your mattress with the Mattress tool. The accessory is engineered to evenly distribute suction power and remove loose fibres via lint pickers at the front and trailing edges.

    Step #3: Spot clean mattress stains by hand

    It’s commonly thought that sunlight can sterilise furniture. When it comes to mattresses however this method isn’t effective. UV light has been used to sterilize areas and reduce the pathogens since the 1900s, and this method of sterilisation has grown in popularity over the years6.

    Given the thickness of mattresses, the killing effect of UVC exposure would be limited to the top portion of the mattress as the UV light is unable to fully penetrate through the mattress. Moreover, the material of the mattress can affect the cleaning ability of UV devices as it casts shadows within the mattress which may nullify the effect of UVC killing.

    Instead, mattresses are best cleaned with direct contact like vacuum technology. For how to remove mattress stains, a spray approach works best. Blot a 50/50 mixture of water and white wine vinegar onto the area with a clean cloth until the stain has disappeared. Let the mattress air dry.

    Step #4: Use a mattress protector and regularly clean bed linen

    Using bedsheets and mattress protectors to cover your mattress and regularly changing and washing them is a good way to keep your mattress cleaner. Just remember that these measures shouldn’t be relied on solely on this to keep your mattress clean. These steps form part of how to clean a mattress but can’t prevent dust mites from accessing the area alone.

    Textile materials like bedsheets and mattresses are porous in nature. Add the microscopic nature of dust to the equation and they fail to form an impenetrable filter and dust, dead skin flakes, dust mites and other microorganisms can still enter your mattress.

    How often should you clean your mattress?

    Cleaning Schedules can help to keep allergens to a minimum and promote home health. In terms of how often to clean a mattress, including it in a monthly cleaning roster will ensure the area is regularly addressed. You may want to schedule it as part of your deep clean or when tackling bedroom spaces. Either way, it’s important to think of your mattress as a high-traffic area and treat it as such.

    Found this article helpful? Keep reading to discover how to clean hard floors effectively.

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